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Harris was one of the eight original SAISD junior high schools established in 1923. Because the building was not completed in time for the start of the school year classes were held at Briscoe Elementary (now academy) until November of 1923.
In 2007-08 Harris became an academy as the School of Scientific internal charter.
The school is named after Joel Chandler Harris (December 9, 1848 – July 3, 1908) who was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist best known for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia, where he served as an apprentice on a plantation during his teenage years. He spent most of his adult life in Atlanta working as an associate editor at the Atlanta Constitution.
Harris led two professional lives: as the editor and journalist known as Joe Harris, he supported a vision of the New South with the editor Henry W. Grady (1880–1889), stressing regional and racial reconciliation after the Reconstruction era. As Joel Chandler Harris, fiction writer and folklorist, he wrote many 'Brer Rabbit' stories from the African-American oral tradition and helped to revolutionize literature in the process.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Names of School Throughout the Years:
Joel Chandler Harris Junior School
Joel Chandler Harris Middle School
Joel Chandler Harris Science Academy
Rabbits then Hawks
Mr. Frank Eakley (Sept. 1923 - Dec. 1923)
Mr. Otto A. Pfeiffer (Jan. 1924 - 1940)
Mr. Merrill Bishop (1940 - 1945)
Mr. Alfred Lehmberg (1945 - 1954)
Mr. R. K. Shafer (1954-1959)
Mr. FrankL. Whitehead (1959 - 1960)
Mr. Conrad T. Anderson (1960 - 1968)
Mr. Roy Dominguez (1968 - 1969)
Mr. Maurillio V. Ortiz (1969 - 1970)
Mr. Noe Camunez (1970 - 1974)
Mrs. Lucille Herndon (1974 - 1977)
Mr. Robert Lopez (1977 - 1985)
Mrs. Anna Garza (1985 - 1992)
Mrs. Sylvia O. Sanchez (1992 - 1995)
Mr. David Williams (1995 - 1998)
Mr. Abel Candia, Jr. (1998 - 2002)
Mr. Moises Ortiz (2002 - 2009 )
Mrs. Lourdes Correa (2009 - 2013)
Dr. Carol Velazquez (2013 - Present)
2002 - Present Yearly Attendance Ranking 3rd Place (or higher)
18 Years Consecutive SAISD Golf Champions
2012 TEA Recognized Campus
2010 Sister Marie Armor (Science) Award
2003 - 2004 Peacemaker Award
2004 - 2005 SAISD Campus of the Year
Chandler Harris Junior School, as it was originally named, was one of 7
junior/middle schools built with a 2 million dollar bond that was
approved June 20, 1922. The cost of the original building was
$156,784.02. The school opened with 6 classrooms.
project was under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Jeremiah Rhodes.
This bond project was part of the sweeping reorganization of San Antonio
schools. This reorganization brought about the 5-3-3 plan. This plan
excited educational circles throughout the country. The 5-3-3 plan
reorganized education into 5 years of elementary school, 3 years of
junior/middle school, and 3 years of senior/high school.
Harris Junior School began operating in September 1923. However, the
students attended classes at Briscoe Elementary down the street on S.
Flores in the afternoons because the new building was not completed in
time for the start of the 1923-1924 school year. Students and teachers
began using the new school building in November 1923 under Principal
During the early 1940s under Principal Merrill
Bishop the enrollment of the school grew to such an extent that
temporary buildings became necessary. However, the enrollment continued
to grow at such a rapid rate that San Antonio ISD established a junior
school at Burbank High School. The District moved Harris's temporary
buildings to Burbank along with a large number of Harris students.
the early 1950s Harris's student population became almost completely
Latin American/Hispanics, which it has continued to be up to present
During the late 1950s under Principal R. K. Shafer,
Harris's enrollment once again began to rapidly grow. However, this
time SAISD did not add any temporary buildings. Instead SAISD opened a
new school, James Fenimore Cooper Junior School, which relieved Harris's
Shortly after the opening of Cooper, Harris had
its' first major renovation which added a gymnasium. The new gymnasium
proved to be a very valuable addition to the school.
under Principal Frank L. Whitehead 2 major academic changes took effect
for Harris Junior School. Principal Whitehead created the
Pfeiffer Chapter of the Junior Honor Society. He also organized and help
draw the plans for the addition of Harris's first Elective course -
Crafts which began being offered September 1960.
In 1968 Harris changed its' mascot from Harris Rabbits to the Harris Hawks.
the early 2000s under Principals Abel Candia, Jr. and Moises Ortiz
Harris Middle School had a major renovation which more than double the
campus size. Highlights of this renovation included: more than 40 new or
remodeled classrooms, 2 new gyms and a football/soccer field were
added, a bigger cafeteria and library were built, the old gym
was converted to a Fine Arts building for Band, Orchestra, Choir, and
These renovations at Harris cost $19 million and were
funded by the 1997 bond program under the leadership of Superintendent
Dr. Ruben D. Olivarez. The building size was increased to 129,417 square
The "new" Harris Middle School was dedicated on Saturday, October 23, 2004.
2016 Harris completed its' renovations that were funded by the 2010
bond program. As part of this bond program Harris received many upgrades
such as new a new STEM lab, new perimeter fencing, security cameras
throughout the campus, etc.
Joel C. Harris Middle School | 325 Pruitt Ave. | San Antonio, TX 78204 | Phone: (210) 228-1220 | Fax: (210) 228-3011
It is the policy of San Antonio ISD not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability in its vocational programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and SAISD's board policies DIA, FFH, and FFI.
Es norma del distrito de San Antonio no discriminar por motivos de raza, color, religión, origen nacional, sexo, identidad de género, expresión de género, orientación sexual o discapacidad, en sus programas, servicios o actividades vocacionales, tal como lo requieren el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Título IX de las Enmiendas en la Educación, de 1972, la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda, y las pólizas DIA, FFH, y FFI de la mesa directiva de SAISD.
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